Watch Anderson Cooper Try Really Hard to Get Donald Trump to Admit to Groping Women

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Anderson Cooper did his best.Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

During the second presidential debate, moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz wasted no time in bringing up the 2005 tape in which Donald Trump — who, just as a quick refresher, is the Republican nominee for president — discussed groping women in such terms as, “grab them by the pussy.”

“You bragged about sexually assaulting women,” Cooper said. “Do you understand that?” Instead of answering the question, Trump chose to discuss “much more important, much bigger things,” such as, you know, ISIS:

No I didn’t say that at all; I don’t think you understand what was said. This was locker room talk, I apologized to my family, I apologized to the American people, certainly I’m not proud of it, but this is locker room talk. But we have a world where you have ISIS chopping off heads and frankly drowning people in steel cages, where you have war and horrible sights all over, where you have so many bad things happening, this is like medieval times. We haven’t seen anything like this—the carnage all over the world. And they look and they see—can you imagine people that are frankly doing so well against us with ISIS and they look at our country and they see what’s going on? Yes, I’m very embarrassed by it, I hate it, but it’s locker room talk and it’s one of those things. I will knock the hell out of ISIS, I will defeat ISIS, ISIS happened a number of years ago because a vacuum that was left because of bad judgment, and I will tell you: I will take care of ISIS and we can get on to much more important things and much bigger things.

Cooper attempted to cut through Trump’s word salad, asking again, “Just for the record though, are you saying that what you said on that bus 11 years ago, that you did not actually kiss women without consent or grope women without consent?”

DT: I have great respect for women—nobody has more respect for women than I do.
AC: So you’re saying you never did that?
DT: I said things that frankly, you hear these things are said, and I was embarrassed by it, but I have tremendous respect for women.
AC: Have you ever done those things?
DT: And women have respect for me. And I will tell you, no, I have not.

Good try, Anderson.